Holyoke, MA ~ 1871
Sited between Holyoke’s third level canal and the Connecticut River, Crocker Manufacturing’s historic mill was a paper manufacturing behemoth capable of producing 50,000 pounds of paper in a single day.
A family-operated paper company for much of its manufacturing tenure, the Crocker Manufacturing Company was organized in 1871 by Daniel P. Crocker. In 1887, the company fell under the command of Daniel’s brother Clifton A. Crocker, and a Samuel S. Crocker is also noted as an officer.
One of Holyoke’s specialty paper mills, Crocker Manufacturing produced high-quality colored, ornamental, and matrix papers, amongst other products. The Mullen test for bursting strength of paper was developed by John Mullen, a Crocker Manufacturing Company employee in the 1880s, before the mill expanded capacity in 1895.
Most of the stately brick buildings at the Crocker Manufacturing Company’s mill were framed with southern yellow pine wood, most of which was old growth longleaf pine.
In 1899, the Crocker Manufacturing was folded into the American Writing Paper Company, a sizable trust built from of over one dozen nearby paper companies, including the Mt. Tom, Gill, Nonotuck, and Albion companies. In 1906, after this consolidation, Crocker’s mill was listed as capable of producing 25 tons of paper per day. In 1912, the company is described as producing book and covered mediums, as well as special colored papers.
Demolished in 2013-2014 as a part of renewal and revitalization of Holyoke’s waterfront, Crocker Manufacturing yielded top-notch Heart Pine beams, as well as tens of thousands of board feet of spruce decking.
Our photos of the reclamation process: